N. A. LISTOPADOV
Doctor of Historical Sciences
Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry
Keywords: USA, Russia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Ukraine crisis, double standards, Islam, Buddhism
Recent dramatic events in and around Ukraine have clearly demonstrated the biased approaches of the United States and its allies, which demonstrate double standards in politics. Let us recall their categorical demand to the then President V. Yanukovych not to use force against the Maidan and the actual pushing of the current Kiev authorities to war with their own people and with an anti-Russian aim. The return of Crimea to Russia at the will of Crimeans causes hysteria in Washington. At the same time, they completely forget about the Kosovo precedent. The logic is as follows: everything that meets the interests and will of the West is right and fair, and what is not is subject to harsh condemnation and sanctions.
To make sure of this, just listen to the programs or go to the sites of the US congressionally funded radio station Svoboda, especially in Ukrainian and Belarusian. The propaganda intensity and the overflowing hostile bias against Russia make you even dumbfounded. For American "Freedom," the Cold War never ended.
There are more than enough examples of this hypocritical line. Everyone knows about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yugoslavia. Everywhere, brusque American intervention under the plausible pretext of establishing democracy leads to destabilization, divisions, and bloodshed. The theory of "controlled chaos"comes to mind.
These are well-known examples. But this is far from the end of the matter. There are other disturbing facts that should not be forgotten. They reflect, like a drop of water, the unprincipled approaches of US foreign policy.
WASHINGTON'S REJECTION OF INDEPENDENT LEADERS
Take Sri Lanka, for example. It would seem that the situation here is more than clear and unambiguous. In the spring of 2009, government forces defeated the brutal terrorist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE has earned a notorious reputation as one of the bloodiest and most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world. For almost three decades, it waged a terrorist war, the victims of which were about 100 thousand people. The Tigers were the first to use suicide bombers, including women. Dozens of political and public figures, including Sri Lankan President R. Premadasa and former Indian Prime Minister R. Gandhi, were killed in the live bombs. Innocent civilians were killed by the hundreds. In the US and EU member states, the LTTE has been designated a terrorist organization.
It would seem that the elimination of a terrorist group after the failure of an attempt to resolve the conflict peacefully deserves approval. But that wasn't the case. The Sri Lankan government has received a barrage of criticism from the West for allegedly committing crimes against peaceful Tamils during the anti-terrorist operation. The Sri Lankan issue is regularly raised in the UN Human Rights Council and other international forums with a tenacity worthy of better application.
Westerners demand an international investigation into alleged human rights violations. At the same time, they forget about their own crimes (of Western countries) in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Pakistan - everything there is blamed on the fight against terrorism and dictatorial regimes. The fact that innocent civilians are being killed in these operations is ignored.
There are so many civilian casualties from the use of drones alone! But the alleged disproportionate use of force by Sri Lankans
Western politicians are very concerned about the contribution to countering bloody terrorists. In Sri Lanka, they practice a lot of human rights rhetoric, dressed up in the toga of principled fighters for democratic values.
Indeed, there is no limit to hypocrisy.
Westerners do not like the fact that the Sri Lankan government headed by a strong leader, President M. Rajapakse, managed to put an end to the terrorist threat on its own and restore calm in the country. There has been no bloodshed on the island for more than five years, and there has not been a single terrorist attack. To achieve a final reconciliation between Tamils and Sinhalese, * there is, of course, much work to be done - to remove the distrust and suspicion that has accumulated for decades. But instead of promoting reconciliation, the West is harshly criticizing the Sri Lankan government, as if oblivious to the atrocities committed by the terrorists.
This approach is partly explained by the desire not to annoy the" pro-gram " Tamil diaspora, which is quite influential in a number of Western countries, because these are additional votes in elections. In other words, the fate of entire countries is being sacrificed to narrow political interests. Sri Lanka is a country with an established democratic parliamentary system. But even this does not bother Western politicians, who in this case are deprived of the opportunity to exploit the thesis of the need for democratization - no one is immune from Washington's displeasure.
Sri Lanka occupies an important geostrategic position in the Indian Ocean. Its ports are of undoubted interest to the US Navy. The Americans would like to have an obedient government in Colombo.
The United States is actively trying to draw India into the anti-Lanka campaign. Delhi has vital interests on the neighboring island, and India would like to see Sri Lanka become a stable country. New Delhi objects to excessive external influence on the neighboring state. The government of the patriotic Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, which came to power in India in May 2014, aims to pursue an independent foreign policy course that meets the country's national interests.
Russia takes a balanced and constructive position on the Sri Lankan issue. It welcomes the elimination of the terrorist threat and supports Colombo's policy of national reconciliation, and calls for ensuring the legitimate rights of all ethnic and religious groups living in Sri Lanka.
The United States and the West, in general, are organically unable to come to terms with the fact that processes in various parts of the world may not develop according to their scenario, without their instructions. They do not tolerate strong, independent leaders who have their own vision and protect the national interests of their states, whether they are independent or independent. Castro, U. Chavez, S. Milosevic, S. Hussein, M. Gaddafi or B. Assad. According to Western logic, such leaders should be eliminated by any means necessary, because they have the courage to challenge the actions of the West.
No one in the West has abolished the eternal principle of " divide and rule." By the way, the foreign headquarters of the LTTE, as well as a number of other extremist organizations, were located in London for many years. And this is not just about the British commitment to pluralism, democracy and human rights. There is no doubt that extremist organizations are closely guarded by the special services and used by them to their advantage.
WHY ARE BUDDHISTS CONFRONTED WITH MUSLIMS?
It is also necessary to point out the persistent attempts of the West to play the "Islamic" card. Let's remember Chechnya and Kosovo. Recently, the West has suddenly started to talk a lot about the persecution of Muslims in Buddhist countries - Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. In Myanmar, they even discovered the "face of Buddhist terror." It was under this headline with an announcement on the cover that a provocative article was published in the American Time magazine, which caused legitimate outrage in Myanmar and other Buddhist countries.1
Of course, relations between Buddhists and Muslims are not always cloudless. For historical and other reasons, there is considerable tension in the western Myanmar region of Rakhine between Buddhists and Muslims, represented by an ethnographic group of Bengalis - the so-called Rohingya.2 However, for centuries, Buddhist and Muslim communities in Myanmar have coexisted quite peacefully.
For almost a quarter of a century, the Myanmar Government has been subjected to Western pressure and sanctions under the pretext of violating human rights and democratic norms. At the same time, Washington and other Western capitals completely ignored Myanmar's realities.
In this multi-ethnic and multi-confessional country, the issue of preserving the territorial integrity and unity of the state is acute. We can say that the long-term sanctions, in general, were not effective. Russia and China in the UN Security Council blocked American attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Myanmar, which are fraught with destabilization of the situation both in this country and in the region as a whole.
Myanmar's military made radical political reforms and allowed democratic leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Do Aung San Suu Kyi to enter politics when he was released.-
* In Sri Lanka, Sinhalese make up the vast majority of the population - about 75%, and Tamils are the largest ethnic minority - about 18%. Sinhalese are predominantly Buddhist, while Tamils are Hindu. Tamils inhabit the 70 million-strong South Indian state of Tamilnadu. There are influential Tamil diasporas in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and several other countries.
I hope that this will not lead to a sharp destabilization of the internal situation. However, Washington pretended that the process of democratization in Myanmar is entirely its merit.
The Americans want to have as much leverage as possible over a particular country, including Myanmar. In this case, inciting contradictions between Buddhists and Muslims will also be useful. Increasing American influence in Myanmar, which has a long border with China, fits well with Washington's goal of containing Beijing. About this, in particular, writes British-based political scientist Tan Myint U, grandson of former UN Secretary-General Burmese U Tan 3. I would like to hope that American activity in Myanmar will not lead to an unbalance of the situation.
Washington is not averse to involving India in countering China. But does it serve Indian interests? New Delhi will benefit more from cooperation within the framework of the Russia-India-China forum, not only politically, but also economically.
Fueling tensions between Muslims and Buddhists, primarily through the Western media, is likely to be long-term. The notorious clash of civilizations according to S. Huntington does not happen by itself - it is provoked from the outside. Paradoxically, Western concerns about the rights of Muslims in South and South-East Asia echo the statements of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri about the intention to extend the terrorist organization's activities to India, Myanmar, Bangladesh and other states.4 When Americans make a fuss about the violation of Muslim rights in Buddhist countries, they say nothing about the human rights situation in such allied states as Saudi Arabia.
Another example of double standards!
The Western media suddenly, as if on cue, rushed to defend the "poor" Muslim Brotherhood from the military in Egypt: the independence of the authoritative president, General al-Sisi, causes irritation in the West.
Bangladesh's secular government has also been criticized for opposing Islamic fundamentalists in one of the world's largest Muslim states by population. The Bangladeshi government, led by the People's League party, is viewed rather coolly in the West, and especially in the United States. It is worth remembering that in the early 70s of the last century, the West did not support the national liberation movement led by this party for the self-determination of the Bengalis of East Pakistan. Leader of the People's League M. Rahman, father of the current head of Government Sh. Khasins, in the West, were considered pro-Soviet.
The West is vindictive. It is all too obvious that behind the unconvincing attempts of Western politicians and media to "protect" Muslims lies a desire to distract attention from the West's own crimes against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. The invasion of Iraq and the connivance of the United States and its allies to terrorist groups in Syria contributed a lot to the spread of the terrorist threat throughout the Middle East. Now the Americans are bombing strongholds of the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant", grossly violating the sovereignty of Syria and killing including civilians.
The Crimean Tatar card is being actively played to counter Russia. It is clear that this tactic will continue in the future. The Americans do not care about the Crimean Tatars, but they do not disdain to cynically use them for anti-Russian purposes.
Russia, as a Eurasian power that has accumulated vast experience of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and representatives of other religions living together, has an important role to play in ensuring inter-confessional peace in different parts of the world. It is not for the Americans to teach us and other countries how to build relationships with Muslims or Buddhists.
Of course, you should not demonize the United States and the West in general. But idealizing them is even more dangerous. The West firmly defends its interests, the right it has appropriated to itself to dictate its own rules of behavior to the whole world, which it considers to be the only correct ones.
As we can see, double standards and hypocrisy are tightly woven into the foreign policy of the United States and its allies. Strong, independent leaders and governments are like a bone in the throat for contenders for world domination. They are satisfied with dependent, obedient elites like the Ukrainian one. Hence the irritation and accusations against Russia.
But the world does not want to put up with a monopolar device. This was clearly shown by the leaders of the BRICS countries at the July 2014 summit in Brazil. Strengthening interaction between power centers that advocate a multipolar world order can help stabilize the situation in the world. First of all, they include Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa.
The BRICS partners are sympathetic to Russia's position on the Ukrainian crisis and oppose any anti-Russian sanctions. Other states that seek to preserve their independence and do not want to become victims of the policy of double standards of the United States and its allies also stand in solidarity with them.
In turn, Russia supports the desire of peoples to develop independently without imposing alien values on them.
Beech H. 1 The face of Buddhist terror How militant monks are fueling anti-Muslim violence in Asia // Time. July 1,2013. P. 14 - 21.
Simoniya A. A. 2 Myanmar-2012: Ethno-confessional conflict in the South-west of the country / / Asia and Africa Today, 2013, N 2. (Simoniya A. A. 2013. Myanma-2012: etnokonfessionalnyi konflikt na yugo-zapade strany // Aziya i Afrika segodnya. N 2) (in Russian)
Thant Myint-U. 3 Where China meets India. Burma and the new crossroads of Asia. Faberand Faber. London, 2012. P. 31, 74, 114, 218 - 219, 329.
4 Al-Qaeda launches new "project" in South Asia: India, Bangladesh, Myanmar-webground. su/topic/2014/09/ 04/t130
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